“Where are your parents?” he asked the hatchling one night while she was still small enough to sleep curled up on his bed in that strangely canine manner of a baby dragon. She raised her head, regarding him with those glowing cerulean eyes, and said, |Where are your siblings?|
It was on this night that he learned dragons, who all have several siblings, tend to be closer to their sisters and brothers than to their parents. He told Terebridys of human families and of his mother, and felt the dragonling slowly stepping closer to him over the blankets until she was standing halfway on his pillow. She curled up at an angle, her belly a warm weight on his shoulderblade, and lay her snout on his chest. It was comforting, so he continued.
“He’s looked at women before,” said the boy of his father. “You know, the way a man looks at a woman.” He paused until Terebridys prodded him in the crook of the arm with her tail to show him she understood. “But he’s never done anything ‘cept look since mum left. He doesn’t say much, but… I think he really loved her.”
Terebridys sensed the unspoken fear in the statement through their bond and wriggled her neck and forelegs, snuggling more tightly against him so he was reminded of her presence.
|Well, dear one, you are a human,| said the pearly-scaled creature, |and when you’re old enough you’ll do more than look at women, and that will be fine. But you’re my human, all mine, and I won’t leave you to end up as sad as your father is.|
There was a comfortable silence between them then, and gradually Elysian’s breath slowed into a deep and restful sleep.